Sonnets for My Savior 5

Sonnets for My Savior 5

A Family Under God

Let husbands love their wives with a sacrificial love;

let husbands love their wives as they love themselves.

Let wives respect their husbands as heads just as the Lord is head above;

let your scripture be the source for guidance into which the family delves.

Let children be obedient and honor their parents;

let them be raised in the Lord’s discipline and instruction.

Let Your word and Your teachings be parents’ primary arguments

to guide them to a life free from the evil one’s seduction.

Let family members bear with each other and forgive

just as the Lord has forgiven us.

Let their worship for You outlive

any personal distrusts.

Let families live only in accordance to Your will,

so that love and blessings from their hearts overfill.


 

Appreciation

Let us give thanks to the Lord with all of our hearts

and proclaim all of His wonderful deeds.

We owe all we have to Him who gives all one needs;

We know that once You have one’s soul, from You it never departs.

He is our rock and our salvation,

so let us always keep him near.

His presence means we need not fear

the curse of eternal damnation.

He grants us our strength and makes us strong,

and to His people He gives peace.

We give thanks to the God from whom all things flow.

He has passed over the sins we have committed, indeed every wrong.

Through him we receive a release

and await the new lives he will, eventually, bestow.


 

An End to Suffering

We pray for Your day to come fast,

for that day, You will wipe the tears from our eyes,

and death will no longer last.

Mourning, crying, and pain will cease on the day You arise.

Even if we suffer for a time,

we rejoice despite the pain

because the age to come will be sublime.

Therefore our endurance is not in vain.

From the character endurance breeds comes hope,

and hope does not put us to shame.

Even if we feel we can’t cope,

we will put our trust in Your holy name

We await Your return eagerly,

for on that day, from suffering we will be free.


 

Faithful

Oh gracious God, You keep Your ears open for our supplications.

Your love is steadfast with those who love You and keep Your commandments.

You are faithful and provide ways to escape our temptations.

You provide for us and heal us from our ailments.

When we seek You with all our hearts, we find you.

When we come and pray to You, You hear.

Let us hold fast to our hope, for when You make a promise, You always come through.

We exalt You, Lord, for to us You are dear.

In times of temptation, we take heart in Your son.

Even if some are unfaithful, your faithfulness remains.

Even when we suffer, we trust in your will, which will always be done.

We were trapped in sin, and You have broken our chains.

Thank you for being merciful and true

and we give thanks for all the glorious things you do.


 

Trust in Your Wisdom

Your Wisdom is pure;

Your judgements are unsearchable.

Though we may doubt, you are always sure.

The depths of your knowledge are unmeasurable.

Fear of You is the beginning of knowledge;

to shun evil is understanding.

In times of sadness, let us pledge

to offer You praise that is abounding.

Should we encounter disappointment,

let us see it as an opportunity

to glorify your sovereign judgement

and conduct ourselves with dignity.

Any one can praise You in times of gladness,

but blessed are those who praise You even in times of sadness.


 

Doers

We know it isn’t enough to know.

Our fathers and ceremonies are not what count.

With all we do, we are held to account,

and we will reap what we sow.

You, Lord, measure our heart,

so the rule of law is not where our salvation lies.

Any person who relies on himself dies,

but those who put their faith in Christ are held apart.

Those who do the law are justified;

righteousness doesn’t come from listening.

Even those who haven’t heard it can be a law to themselves if they do what is required.

Those who know the law but break it show themselves falsified.

The disobedient will find the obedient condemning.

For those who receive grace through faith are the ones who are desired.


 

Call Me

Here I sit in my iniquity;

call me please, so with You I may sit.

To claim not to need You is fatuity.

I am a sinner, so to You I submit.

I am sick;

You are the only physician who can heal me.

Rebuild me, Lord, brick by brick,

and leave my transgressions in the debris.

I listen for Your call,

for I can not escape my sin.

Let me hear You before I fall,

for there is nothing good in my skin.

The table of tax collectors and sinners is where I should be,

so please sit with us and share the truth that sets us free.

s

Book Review: Standing Strong by John MacArthur

Book Review: Standing Strong by John MacArthur

41KRdFzUS3LStanding Strong by John MacArthur was a book I picked up because I’m aware of how much I struggle with temptation in my life. If I’m being honest, I want to sin pretty much every moment of the day.  That might be a touch hyperbolic, but the intended meaning is accurate. I wanted tools to arm myself for when temptation strikes.

I’ll say this much, the first part of the book frankly terrified me. I’ve spoken several times about the churches in my area (not all, but the ones I was unfortunate enough to encounter).  The beginning of this book discusses the term spiritual warfare. I listened (I use Audible to read these books) terrified that I’m supposed to arm up and hunt down actual demons and other things of the sort.

That’s just not biblical.

So this book, after discussing some of the misperceptions about spiritual warfare, speaks plaining about how we are to fight evil.  We fight the evil in ourselves.  How? Ephesians 6:10-18.

The rest of the book goes into fantastic detail and explanation on each part of the armor of God.  I won’t summarize here since I think anyone interested should simply buy the book. I’m probably going to re-read this in the near future.

The best value of these books is the context and clarification he offers with the text. I think something like this is critical for one such as myself. I’m more aware of the sin in my life than I’ve ever been, and I’m regrettably not nearly as sanctified as I think I should be. That being said, I still want to wake up tomorrow and feel zero temptation, which isn’t, I think, biblical or realistic.  Even Jesus was tempted (Matthew Chapter 4:1-11).

John-MacArthur-Primary-2
Portrait taken from Dr. MacArthur’s bio page on the Grace to You website. Image used for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

For me, this book is as convicting as it is instructive. I don’t always do the right thing, and the fact is my temptation is at its highest when I willfully seek it out. Even if I’m fooling myself into thinking I’m not putting myself into position to be tempted, I tend to reflect and realize that’s exactly what I was doing.

This book won’t make a sinner stop sinning. Neither will it make a person not see temptation. It doesn’t claim to either.

What it does do is provide the reader with a detailed explanation on how to combat temptation when it arrives. I’ll never claim to be “fixed.” That would be a lie I could never support.   What I will say is that when I fight my battles in this way, I find some degree of success, which is ultimately thanks to the Grace of God, which he’s provided through the Spirit that has been given to us. This book is a nice companion to have handy when reading Ephesians.

As I’ve said, I intend to read it again simply because I need the boot in the butt. The temptation to relax because, “I’m so much better” is in itself a temptation I need to resist. (Which I counter by saying, “For all fall short of the Glory of God.”)

If you’re a Christian struggling with sin, try reading Ephesians and this book. I found it helpful.

Thanks for reading,

Matt